Poems about Sadness

DIVORCE by Kanye West

‘DIVORCE’ by Kanye West was written in order to reflect the writer’s experiences during his divorce from Kim Kardashian.

DIVORCE by Kanye West Visual Representation

Hush little baby, don’t say a word by Mother Goose

“Hush little baby, don’t say a word” by Mother Goose is a popular nursery rhyme that originated in the southern United States. It is addressed to a crying child and includes the many things that their father would do for them to make them happy.

Hush little baby, don't say a word by Mother Goose Visual Representation

The Great Society by Robert Bly

Published in Robert Bly’s award-winning collection, The Light Around the Body (1967), ‘The Great Society’ satirizes the set of domestic programs launched by Democratic President Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1964-65 by presenting contrasting imagery from contemporary American society.

The Great Society by Robert Bly Visual Representation

Good-bye by Walter de la Mare

Walter de la Mare’s poem ‘Good-bye’ illustrates the impact of the “last of last words” with the help of vivid, pessimistic imagery. It’s all about one’s emotional distress caused by a heart-wrenching “Goodbye.”

Good-bye by Walter de la Mare Visual Representation

Piazza di Spagna, Early Morning by Richard Wilbur

Published in Wilbur’s award-winning collection Things of This World (1956), ‘Piazza di Spagna, Early Morning’ is about a girl dancing on a serene, lonely morning at the famous Spanish square.

Piazza di Spagna, Early Morning by Richard Wilbur Visual Representation

The Orchard by Robert A. Ayres

Robert A. Ayres’s ‘The Orchard’ depicts a desolate garden that the speaker visited in the past. This image-rich poem explores the theme of the transience of life.

The Orchard by Robert A. Ayres Visual Representation

Morning Poem by Mary Oliver

‘Morning Poem’ by Mary Oliver uses the dawn of a new day to speak of hope and new beginnings, offering an optimistic message.

Morning Poem by Mary Oliver Visual Representation

Arabic by Naomi Shihab Nye

‘Arabic’, a thoughtful poem by Naomi Shihab Nye appears in Red Suitcase: Poems (1994). This poem features a speaker’s forgetfulness concerning her mother tongue (Arabic) and culture.

Arabic by Naomi Shihab Nye Visual Representation

The Clown’s Wife by John Agard

‘The Clown’s Wife’ by John Agard explores the theme of duality through a wife speaking about her clown husband and herself.

The Clown's Wife by John Agard Visual Representation

Moonlight by Sara Teasdale

‘Moonlight’ is a short lyrical poem by Sara Teasdale that uses various literary devices to depict the sorrows of a troubled youth.

Moonlight by Sara Teasdale Visual Representation

Amateur Fighter by Natasha Trethewey

‘Amateur Fighter’ is a poem about a speaker thinking of her father, a boxer. His painful journey inside and outside the ring is portrayed through this piece.

Amateur Fighter by Natasha Trethewey Visual Representation

Fool’s Money Bags by Amy Lowell

‘Fool’s Money Bags’ is an interesting poem that touches on love and devotion towards the wrong people and things. Read Amy Lowell’s poem, along with a deep dive analysis.

Fool's Money Bags by Amy Lowell Visual Representation

Question by May Swenson

‘Question’ is a poem written in the form of an interrogation. Throughout this piece, May Swenson asks how she could hide her soul after the body dies.

Question by May Swenson Visual Representation

My Father by Peter Oresick

‘My Father’ by Peter Oresick is a poem that delves into the narrator’s relationship with his father. The narrator is regretful that his father’s pain created a wall between them, and he yearns to better understand him.

My Father by Peter Oresick Visual Representation

Money by Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin’s poem, ‘Money,’ is a powerful critique of the consumerist culture inherent in modern society through the personification of money itself.

Money by Philip Larkin Visual Representation

The Apple-Raid by Vernon Scannell

‘The Apple-Raid’ appears in Vernon Scannell’s poetry collection “The Apple-Raid and Other Poems” published in 1974. This piece explores how the poet and his friends went about collecting apples out of the town.

The Apple-Raid by Vernon Scannell Visual Representation

To Winter by Claude McKay

‘To Winter’ by Claude McKay is a love letter to the cold winter months. The narrator of the poem laments the arrival of spring, as it means the winter has ended.

To Winter by Claude McKay Visual Representation

To God by Ivor Gurney

‘To God’ is a poem of the early twentieth century. It expresses the plight of the poet persona as he laments to God about his mental illness.

To God by Ivor Gurney Visual Representation

Sonnet 143 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 143,’ also known as ‘Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch,’ uses a simile to depict the speaker’s feelings for the Dark Lady. He is described as a crying infant desperate for his mother’s return.

Sonnet 143 by William Shakespeare Visual Poem Representation

In The Park by Gwen Harwood

‘In The Park’ by Gwen Harwood is a moving poem about how difficult motherhood can truly be. It describes a mother’s distress over her lost life.

In the park by gwen harwood

Enlightenment by Natasha Trethewey

‘Enlightenment’ by Natasha Trethewey is a powerful poem about race and racism. The poet depicts the ways in which history can be interpreted.

I Am! by John Clare

‘I Am!’ by John Clare is a powerful poem about a speaker’s struggle with depression, loneliness, and a desire to find peace in Heaven. 

Peeling Onions by Adrienne Rich

‘Peeling Onions’ by Adrienne Rich is an introspective poem. In it, the poet uses the metaphor of peeling onions to define her complex thoughts.

Myxomatosis by Philip Larkin

‘Myxomatosis’ by Philip Larkin is about a disease of the same name. It was introduced to the wild rabbit population in Britain in the mid-1900s.

Discover and learn about the greatest poetry, straight to your inbox

Start Your Perfect Poetry Journey

The Best-Kept Secrets of Poetry

Discover and learn about the greatest poetry ever straight to your inbox